The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) School of Engineering’s disciplines have continued to receive accreditation with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), following an assessment of its Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BScEng) undergraduate programmes this year.

After ECSA completed their assessment of Civil Engineering recently, ECSA conferred continued accreditation with no deficiencies and no concerns until 2024. Civil Engineering received the top report from ECSA for its accreditation against all other Engineering disciplines, in the School this year.

‘The Civil Engineering team showed their outstanding standards during the accreditation process; it’s a wonderful team,’ said Academic Leader of Civil Engineering Professor Mohamed Mostafa.

Dean and Head of School Professor Glen Bright called the successful conclusion of the accreditation process ‘a fantastic team effort’ on the part of the School. He expressed gratitude to Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) Professor Albert Modi, to CAES Dean of Teaching and Learning Professor Naven Chetty, and to staff in the School for their support that ensured a successful accreditation visit.

‘ECSA was impressed all round with the quality, the staffing, the admin, the paperwork and the facilities,’ reported School Manager Mr Ronal Thakurpersad. ‘They also indicated that we were comparable to the best in the world.’

Accreditation by the industry’s professional body recognises that programmes being offered meet a range of criteria that demonstrate that graduates have met the education requirements for their particular field of engineering and may register with ECSA and practice as professional engineers. Accreditation is an important measure of quality assurance, and ECSA accredited qualifications are recognised in countries that are signatory to the Washington Accord. Accreditation visits are undertaken by ECSA on invitation from and with full cooperation of staff at the institution.

The School offers accredited qualifications in Electrical, Agricultural (Bioresources), Chemical, Electronic, Civil, Mechanical, and Computer Engineering. It boasts many notable research groups, units and centres that enhance the quality of research and teaching in the School, among them the Thermodynamics Research Unit, the Pollution Research Group, the Eskom Centre of Excellence in High Voltage Direct Current Engineering, the Aerospace Systems Research Group and many more. The School also hosts several Research Chairs, including the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) Chairs in Waste and Climate Change, and in Sugarcane Biorefining.

Modi said the confirmation of professional academic programmes is directly linked to the quality of education, knowledge and skills offered, and that these three aspects have backward and forward linkages to the learning environment and sustainability of the programmes.

‘Our University is excited about the renewal of Engineering programmes,’ said Modi. ‘We continue to provide strategic support to ensure that there is adequate financial and human resource support balanced with relevant partnerships with partners from industry and other academic institutions.’

Words: Christine Cuénod